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A women’s cycling team established by sporting legend Dame Sarah Storey is being supported by a North East accountancy firm.

Leathers the Accountants has become a sponsor of Storey RT, the cycling team set up last year by Dame Sarah and her husband Barney to compete in events across the UK and internationally.

Dame Sarah has represented Great Britain in both Paralympic and able-bodied events. Having won 14 gold medals, she is the most successful British Paralympian of all time.

Leathers, which has offices in Newcastle and Durham, became involved with Storey RT after being inspired by its ‘Best Version of You’ mantra, which champions everyone to push themselves to fulfil their potential and achieve their dream, irrespective of ability or activity.

The majority of the Leathers team are now involved in various sporting pursuits through which they continue to raise funds for charitable causes close to their hearts.  This year will see Leathers’ staff take part in a London to Paris cycle ride for St Oswald’s Hospice as well as the Great North Run.

Michael Leather, managing partner of the business, is himself a keen cyclist, and credits the sport with helping him change his life. He has twice completed the full Tour de Force – which follows the exact route of the Tour de France – and is preparing to tackle it for a third time in July. Once again, he’ll be joined by other members of the team who will complete various stages of the route.

Having already raised over £50,000 through their efforts over the last three years, this year’s activities should see the team raise even more.

Among the many events Storey RT are competing in this year is the OVO Energy Tour Series, which will be visiting Durham on May 22, and will be a local event for 18-year-old Storey RT cyclist Anna Kay, who is from Gateshead.

Dame Sarah said: “Sponsors are the lifeblood of cycling as we have very few means of creating revenue for ourselves since, unlike with other sports, there are no spectator fees and jersey sales are not as lucrative as in football, for example. We are enormously grateful to Leathers for backing us as they have.

“Having a sponsor who wants to join in with our running on the ground is unique and appreciated. Michael’s achievements are inspiring and it is impressive to see how he juggles training with an incredibly busy work schedule. I am in awe of his energy and ability to ride such long stages. Having turned his life around by taking up cycling, the challenge rides has had done are tough and no doubt on the bucket list of many of the riders in our team!

“We are delighted with the financial and practical support from both Michael and the wider Leathers team.”

Michael Leather said: “It is a great privilege to work with Dame Sarah and Barney and to become a sponsor of their team. Sarah is one of this country’s greatest sportswomen, not just in the field of cycling, and her commitment and determination to succeed is something you cannot fail to be impressed by.

“The team’s ‘Best Version of You’ approach really resonated with myself and the Leathers team, and our approach as a business to go above and beyond in everything we do. There are many parallels between the ethos of Leathers and Team Storey, so it seemed a very good fit for us to become a sponsor.

“Speaking from personal experience, cycling has totally changed my life, enabling me to improve my health, and have a total release from the working environment. I am delighted that others in Leathers have taken up cycling too, and that as a result, we have been able to give back so much to our local community.”

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